Secondary teachers ‘want more flexible working patterns’

A report by the National Foundation for Educational Research says there is an “unmet demand” from secondary teachers wanting to reduce or alter their hours. The BBC reports.

It estimates that one in six teachers would like to reduce their hours – one in 12 by more than one day a week.

With the number of secondary school pupils in England set to increase by 15% between 2018 and 2025, the NFER’s report says attracting and retaining enough teachers is “a key challenge”.

The latest data for the workforce in England indicates that 19% of secondary school teachers worked part-time in 2017, compared to 27% of primary teachers.

Andy Williams, 63, has gone part-time at Fakenham Academy in Norfolk and is one of only two teachers there who can take A-level chemistry classes.

He says this move means the school retains the expertise of older teachers, particularly in subjects where there is a shortage of teachers.

“It’s enabled me to carry on teaching, which I really love, and working with the kids, but it has also enabled me to do more with the family, other paid work and other activities.”

The NFER report highlights four main concerns faced by school leaders when a member of staff asks to work part-time or flexibly:

  • ensuring continuity for pupils and timetabling different working patterns
  • constraints on other forms of flexible working
  • communication issues – with other members of staff as well as parents
  • additional costs.

Read the full article Secondary teachers ‘want more flexible working patterns’ 

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